Walk To Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne {book review}


Imagine yourself a thirteen-year-old hundreds of miles away from home, in a strange city, and your mom leaves you at a bus station parking lot and drives off into the night with her lover.

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne {book review}

Walk to Beautiful

Summary:

That’s the real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. It’s a miracle that Jimmy survived being hungry and homeless, bouncing in and out of the foster care system, and sleeping in the streets. But he didn’t just overcome great adversity in his life; he now uses his country music platform to help children everywhere, especially teenagers in foster care who are about to age out of the system.

Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy’s horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, “She changed every cell in my body.”

It also chronicles Jimmy’s rise to fame in the music industry and his Meet Me Halfway campaign: his walk halfway across America, 1,700 miles from Nashville to Phoenix, to raise awareness for foster kids.

Join Jimmy on his walk to beautiful and see how one person really can make a difference.

My Reaction:

This is an incredible story, the first person account of Jimmy Wayne’s life experiences, crafted together beautifully  with the assistance of writer Ken Abraham.  The horrendous events and harmful relationships in Jimmy’s childhood are enough to rattle any reader.  Knowing that he not only survives but devotes himself to helping other children in the foster care system, gives the reader the momentum to continue reading.

This is a long book, not a quick read.  It is well-written, and documented with photographs, and a clearly stated message — live God’s love, do something for someone else, and never give up!

Jimmy attributes his foster mother Bea Costner’s love for him as the catalyst in his life.  Bea and her husband were an elderly couple who took Jimmy in when he had no home, not knowing his background, but sensing his need for love and  a stable home.  Now Jimmy advocates for foster children in the system, urging lawmakers to keep them in the system until the age of twenty-one instead of eighteen.

Jimmy’s Meet Me Halfway campaign, in which he walked halfway across America raised awareness for foster kids who are aging out of the system.  In between his childhood tales and the walk, Walk to Beautiful chronicles his entry into, and rise in, the country music industry, both performing and songwriting.

I confess that I had not heard of Jimmy Wayne or of his famous walk before reading Walk to Beautiful.  I did not read this book from the perspective of a fan of his music.  The book created a desire to hear his music, especially the songs with lyrics based on his life experiences.

This reader is duly impressed with Jimmy Wayne’s testimony to God’s power in his life.  This is not a rags to riches story.  It is the story of decades of trial and error, of dogged determination to follow his heart and to please God in so doing.

Jimmy Wayne’s ability to cope and keep going in spite of tremendous odds, abuse, and lack of consistency, not to mention a lack of love, for most of his life, speaks volumes.  You might ask how a loving God could allow such a thing.  By the end of the book Jimmy has come to terms with this, and the reader should too.

I give this book a five star rating.  I highly recommend it to any reader who enjoys reading about people.  This is a squeaky clean read.  You may not be the same person after you read it.  It might just change you too.

I received a copy of Walk to Beautiful from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review.  Opinions are my own.

My rating:  five stars

Jimmy Wayne Photo Credit- Alan PoiznerJimmy Wayne’s bio:

Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs and story highlight his mission to bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless.

With hits such as “Put Your Hand In Mine,” “I Love You This Much,” and “Paper Angels,” he released “Do You Believe Me Now,” his biggest hit to date for which he earned the millionaire award for having one million radio spins in America. In 2009, Jimmy toured with Brad Paisley and recorded “Sara Smile” with Daryl Hall and John Oates.

In 2010, Jimmy walked halfway across America to raise awareness for kids aging out of the system. The next year he became CASA’s national spokesperson and released the novel Paper Angels which became a made-for-TV movie with the same title.

In 2012, Jimmy helped get the bill passed extending the age of foster care to 21 in both California and Tennessee. Jimmy lives in Nashville and continues to raise awareness for kids by writing, singing, and speaking.

Jimmy Wayne’s Facebook page

My review is on Christianbook.com

Jimmy Wayne’s website

My review is on BookLookBloggers.com

My review is on Goodreads

 

 

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